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BC Wildfire says May a great month to start fire-proofing properties

A map from Friday, May 7, 2021, showing fire danger ratings throughout the province. Province of B.C.

With pleasant temperatures slowly warming B.C.’s Southern Interior, the region’s fire danger rating is starting to climb as well.

Currently, the province’s fire danger rating for the Kamloops Fire Centre is fluctuating between low and moderate, though on Thursday there were a couple of pockets rated as high.

BC Wildfire says the danger ratings are typical for this time of the year but added May is a great time to start fire-proofing properties.

Read more: Parkland County wildfire grows beyond 2,200 hectares as evacuation order remains west of Edmonton

“We’re starting to see more moderate (ratings) as things start to dry out a bit,” said Taylor MacDonald, fire information officer with BC Wildfire, adding the region hasn’t seen much precipitation lately.

“Now is a really good time for people to start fire-smarting their properties by taking advantage of the drier weather to mitigate all fire risks around their properties.”

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A map showing the fire danger rating early Thursday, May 6, 2021. Province of B.C.

MacDonald added that “the spring-time fires that we’re starting to see are all human-caused, and those are completely preventable.”

Tips to fire-smart your home include:

  • Cleaning and maintaining gutters and roofs
  • Keeping decks and balconies clear of leaves and debris
  • Cleaning under your deck to remove combustible materials
  • Moving firewood and lumber 10 to 30 metres away from your home
  • Pruning trees to create a two-metre clearance from the ground to the lowest branches
  • Keeping grass and weeds cut below 10 centimetres
  • Adding non-combustible three-millimetre screens to external vents
Click to play video: 'Wildfire rages west of Edmonton as a windy night is expected' Wildfire rages west of Edmonton as a windy night is expected
Wildfire rages west of Edmonton as a windy night is expected – May 7, 2021

Further, she said the region is expected to see possible windy conditions this weekend, so BC Wildfire is asking the public to be cautious when conducting open burning.

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“Even though we are seeing temperatures that are a bit cooler (than normal), fires can still easily ignite,” said MacDonald, adding winds can carry embers that could potentially start a new fire.

“So we need everybody to remain cautious and careful, just as we would in August.”

For more information about fire-smarting your home, visit FireSmartBC.

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